Western Canadian wheat farmers received an unexpected bonus this spring from an unexpected source: the Canadian Wheat Board.
Farmers who marketed wheat and durum in the CWB’s 2011-12 pool programs received cheques last month for grain that was planted nearly three years ago and sold before July 31, 2012.
The payments — 86 cents per tonne on spring wheat and $3.61 per tonne on durum — were required to reconcile pool accounts after it was determined that the CWB cost estimates that were used to calculate producer returns were too high.
After determining their actual costs, CWB issued a final payment adjustment that amounted to an additional .3 percent for wheat and 1.5 percent for durum. Payment adjustments were issued beginning last month.
CWB said in an email that settlement of the 2011-12 pool accounts could not be completed until the accounts were finalized and audited.
For some producers, that meant they were still receiving cheques for grain they had delivered nearly 33 months earlier.
“Farmers received a 2011-12 final payment in February 2013, but during the final reconciliation of the pools that followed in the spring of 2013, it was found that accruals (costs that CWB had to estimate before they were incurred) were too high in respect to both the wheat and durum pools,” the CWB email said.
“As a result, CWB was able to pay farmers an extra .3 percent (86 cents per tonne) on wheat and 1.5 percent ($3.61 per tonne) on durum.”
CWB said efforts to reconcile the accounts began as soon as the accounts were finalized and audited.
Final payment adjustments were calculated for each eligible farmer and verified by auditors, it added.
The final payment adjustment was then sent to Ottawa for government approval in the latter half of 2013.
Approval was eventually received and cheques were mailed in May.